After a two-and-a-half month investigation, a 46-year-old Mankato man has been charged with two felonies for stealing items from his employer, apparently with the goal of opening his own such business.

Mankato Detectives say Kerry Sorenson had worked for the moving-related company for seven or eight years but put in his two weeks notice in May. The owner soon discovered that Sorenson planned to open a competing company and that items like moving blankets and moving carts were missing from store inventory.

The victim also told police that Sorenson had been showing up at the warehouse at odd hours, and had also been ordering items the business didn’t need and weren’t found in a search of the business.

A search of Sorenson’s home and a moving truck parked near it in June turned up documents for the new company. The criminal complaint shows investigators also found a receipt for a storage shed in North Mankato, and Sorenson denied stealing from his former employer but did admit that police would find a few items there that he had borrowed but was planning to return.

The items found in the storage unit matched many of the items that the victim claimed were missing and officials say the total value of the missing items was over $15,000.